The Eternal Flame
A thousand thank-yous to the "Flaming Heterosexual" who responded to Patricia Calhoun's December 15 column, "Grave Doubts," on Madrid St. Angelo and Taylor St. John. He (or she) hit the nail right on the head, albeit unwittingly, when he (or she) said, "Will homosexuals please, please get on with their lives and shut up?" Hooray! Finally, someone has realized that is all we really want to do in the first place: live our lives quietly and uneventfully--golly, just like "normal" folk. I have grown extraordinarily weary of seeing my life (and hugely distorted views of how some people think I live my life) splashed across the front page of the newspaper or becoming the lead story on the ten o'clock news. I am so enormously tired of having God and Family Values and Diseases and Pedophilia and Videotapes of Naked Men in a Parade in San Francisco thrown in my face. My life is not a political issue. You don't know who I am or how I live or what I feel or what I dream about or want, yet you oh so nobly flipped a lever two Novembers ago that would make a huge difference in my life. But in spite of that, and in spite of Mr. (or Ms.) "Flaming Heterosexual" lumping "my kind" in with "criminals and other antisocial vermin," in the long run I honestly don't care what anyone thinks. I have a great sense of pride, not just as a gay man, but as a human being. Nothing will ever change that. Nothing. Ever.
(As for popular votes, I stopped believing in them when "Last Dance" was voted Best Song in 1978 at the Oscars.) So if you will excuse me, I need to get on with my decadent, immoral, pleasure-obsessed life of paying taxes, clipping coupons, worrying about bills, cleaning the litter box, shoveling snow, rooting for the Broncos, figuring out how to program my VCR (there's really nothing to it), sending thank-you cards for Christmas gifts, reading Westword (isn't that Kenny Be simply scandalous?), keeping my eyes and heart open for that special someone I can fall in love with and spend the rest of my life with, and catching the occasional movie at the local mall miniplex. Shame on me.
A Raging Fag
Amendment 2 may have prompted a few gays to leave Colorado, much to the delight of anonymous letter writers. However, the statute had a more important impact: Amendment 2 led many more people, myself included, to come out this year.
Having made that difficult decision, I am not content to watch passively as the decade's biggest civil rights battle is played out. I'm sure I'm not alone in my intention to get involved in the struggle in any way I can.
To those individuals who missed the point of Patricia Calhoun's "Grave Doubts," and to those persons dismayed over her "between-the-lines" support of the alleged vandals of Mount Olivet cemetery, I'd like to say get a grip, a clue and a Q-Tip to clean out your ears. Hats off to Ms. Calhoun, the lady behind the desk brave enough to bring to the public's attention the unfortunate plight of those indicted Denverites.
It is understandable why many people took offense over the cemetery vandalism. After all, in this country we are more concerned about the rights of the unborn and the dead than we are about the rights of the living. Rarely have individuals (radicals excluded) stood up for the rights of those infected with HIV or those living with AIDS. Furthermore, rarely has anyone stood up in the face of great opposition and oppression--in this case the oppressive dogmas of the Catholic Church.
I think the man who wrote Westword saying that he had been an AIDS activist at one time but had abandoned the movement because of the attitude displayed by those angry AIDS activist vandals should work through his cowardice and rejoin the fight to end AIDS. People are still dying!
Plastic bags over tombstones may not have gotten the Church to lift its ban on condoms, but it sure got it screaming to the media about how compassionate it's been to people with AIDS. What a crock! The Catholic Church is about as compassionate to PWAs as Hitler was to Polish Jews.
Perhaps it is true that we should not praise the vandalism that occurred at Mount Olivet cemetery. Instead we should applaud the intent, the motivation behind these vandals' actions. At the very least, we should find compassion within our hearts to forgive them, especially Mr. St. John and Mr. St. Angelo, who aside from being activists are two men living with AIDS.
Slam, Jam, Thank You Ma'am
Regarding John Stefanowicz's letter in the December 22 issue:
Slam dancing is awesome and only should be done to fast music. But "Lollapaloser" (as he has called it) isn't responsible for the popularity of it.
I happen to be a major Pearl Jam fan, but Pearl Jam doesn't play mosh music. Their concerts have some slower songs, but some of the faster songs could be moshed to. Pearl Jam is not a weak band. They rock. So wake up and smell the damned coffee. You can't hate their "teenybopper" (I hate that word) audience; you don't even know us! Pearl Jam is both grunge and alternative, and that is 'nuff said.
I am writing in regard to John Stefanowicz's letter about Pearl Jam. Who in the hell died and made him the judge of what dance to do to what music? Dance is an art, a freedom to express yourself to the music. Whether you mosh or slam dance to Beethoven or Ministry is your own preference. There is no need to slam people who mosh to Pearl Jam, because if that is how the music affects you, then more power to you. Pearl Jam is a great band with a very talented songwriter. If you ever just sit and listen to the lyrics of the music, you will see and hear why moshing is the dance of choice. As the saying goes, to each his own.
For the Record
Congratulations to Michael Roberts and his best of 1993 music list, "For Your Pleasure," in the December 29 issue. The article is simply outstanding! He had the integrity to list only good albums that deserved to be heard. There's not a bad title among them, and I was inspired to buy three more! Quite a change from the popularity-contest music lists that most big music magazines run.
Of course you'll get some angry letters from morons upset that Pearl Jam and U2 aren't listed. To them I say throw out your flannel shirts, turn off KTCL and KBCO, go to your nearest independent record store and find some good music that isn't on the alternative bandwagon (like Dead Can Dance's Into the Labyrinth, one Michael missed). Either that, or lock yourself in a closet with the Stone Temple Pilots CD on infinite repeat, so when you finally emerge, you can be an alternative-scene correspondent for Rolling Stone! Thanks again, Mike!
What's Old Is Nuke
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Happy Nuke Year" in the December 29 issue: If there's one reason to be happy this year, it's that we have 52 new issues of Westword to look forward to. Congratulations to Calhoun and crew on the continuing coverage of Rocky Flats, especially the story in Newsweek. Here's to more in '94.
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I was reading in your paper about how it took 36 people to replace a light bulb at Rocky Flats. There was the time I worked at Wendy's and the supervisor asked, "Do you know how to screw a light bulb?" I laughed and turned away. She came running back where I was working and asked, "Why did you laugh when I asked if you knew how to screw a light bulb?" I said, "Lady, 67 years of my life, and I have never learned how to screw a light bulb." She got down in the middle of the floor and was rolling around all over. I said, "What's the matter?" She said, "You kill me." I said, "No, you would have killed me if the light bulb was broke."
Phew! What's that rotten E.G.G. smell? Here's my suggestion for the correct name for the Plutocrats' Plutonium Pollution Plot: Raunchy Farts.